PEATS Slovakia – Bronze Age

This page will updated with details for 2018 soon

Dates: 2018
Number of UK Participants: 7 (minimum 2 drivers)
Duration: 32 days

Background

The Slovak/Hungarian border town of Sahy has been the location for Grampus archaeology placements since 2001. The initial focus of these excavations was the medieval monastery, where participants have gained invaluable experience of excavating a site with complex stratigraphy and where several medieval burials have been discovered, recorded and excavated.

The focus of the placement then changed to a Bronze-Age site on the outskirts of the town, when in 2006, a German contractor began construction of a clothing factory. During these works in the eastern area, a prehistoric settlement was disturbed and a trench for a gas pipeline uncovered a charcoal rich spread. As a result, our partners in Slovakia therefore moved the focus of the excavations from the monastery to the investigation of this incredibly important site.

The site is named Na Vrsku, which means “mound” and is located on a rise on the outskirts of Sahy that is well defended by natural terrain. The river Ipel lies to the west of the site, which is also where the sharp precipice that makes up part of the sites defence. To the north and south of the site are much larger hills which also have archaeological evidence of activity dating to the Bronze Age.

Fieldwork has been undertaken at the site, situated part way down the slope, since 2006 and has so far revealed industrial and domestic deposits. The site has so far been rich in finds, which include decorated pottery in a style that has identified the site as belonging to the Hatvan Culture. There have also been ceramic animal figurines found on the site, as well as spindles, whet stones, shells and bone.

In 2011, a survey was done of the top of the hill which revealed a circular enclosure (Green Village report above). This was then excavated and in 2013, pottery was recovered that dated the enclosure to the Baden Culture, and then later to the Hatvan culture. It is this enclosure site that the group will be excavating this season as well as the other site, which is about 100m or so away. Finds from the 2016 season included a blade, more animal figurines and incomplete casting moulds. The 2017 season will see work continue on in the area of the original site as well as work in the enclosure area at the top of the hill.

Students will be working with the site director, Tibor Palinkas, who works for the Museum in Sahy. You will also be in contact with Ida Wollent, who is the partner at the Ipel Union.

The group will also spend some time working on a Bronze age site in the town of Santovka. The site is run by the University of Bratislava so the group will be working alongside their students as well as students from Prague.

Accommodation and Transport

To Be Confirmed – Students will be staying in a self-catering house chalet at the Kingfisher Centre about 10minutes drive from the town of Sahy. The town has shops and bars as well as a restaurant and a bar that has public computers. Transport will be provided in the form of a mini van which you will have use of in the evenings and weekends for short journeys and to use to get to site, so some participants need to have a clean UK drivers licence. Excursions further a field may need to be done using public transport, which the host will help the group with.

The weather in the past has been very hot, but site has been rained off as well, so come prepared for both rain and sunshine and make sure there is plenty of drinking water to hand. Suncream and insect repellent are needed as well. It is strongly suggested that participants buy in drinking water.

Weekends

Weekends are free so the group can go around and see some of Slovakia. Previous trips and activities that groups have been on include: Sturovo, Bratislava, Budapest, cave visits, castle festival, Ipelsky Sokolecs Goulash festival. With the use of the van and the public transport links, it is advised that the group get out and about as much as possible.

As with most archaeological sites, expect a degree of physical work. As with all our placements, participants are joining partner excavations. These are not UK led excavations. The group will be learning different methods and techniques that are used for this particular site, so must expect differences in how the site is run.

The Funding

The Erasmus + funding will cover accommodation, insurance, supervision, food, provision of the minivan and return flights.

If you are interested in this placement, then the application form is available to download on the PEATS main page.

For past participants feedback, refer to the Participants Reports page

 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.